Why Is MBA/PGDM Considered Underrated

India currently has 5500 B-Schools. Considering the fact that B-School seats have tripled in the last five years it is an ambiguity to understand exactly what is happening to the management education sector in India since almost 340 B-Schools have closed down in the period 2014-2016. Low quality of education, lower quality of intake coupled with the economic slowdown has accounted for a whopping 43% decline in campus recruitment .93% of the MBA pass-outs are unemployable and barring the top rung institutions the national mean salary of management graduates is around Rs.10, 000 a month, claims a recent survey.

If we try to address the basic issue of a withering demand for MBA graduates in the country, we would understand that this is not the issue for students making to the top 50 or top 100 B-Schools in India. The grass is still green there and continues to do so. A careful look at the top recruiting companies for MBAs will show us that companies like Deloitte, Cognizant, ICICI Bank and Infosys, etc. are still hiring aggressively which means that the IT and the Financial sector has to be the most sought after ones for management professionals. Both require hardcore domain knowledge and decent communication skills to make it to the cut.

There lies the problem of a typical MBA aspirant these days, they look at the course as means to get employment and learn how to speak fluent English language. To learn business communication and to develop basic proficiency in the English language are not synonymous. With no clarity and retention of subject knowledge gained during graduation students are mostly unaware of why they want to pursue a master’s degree in business administration from a university or an AICTE approved PGDM. Adding to this is the fact that 95% student intake in most B-Schools are fresher with no work experience making it a quiz question for them to decide which specialization to opt for. A minimal work experience at least points most candidates to an area of interest which is not the case here. Students lack the quality regarding skills as well as clarity of decision to make their MBA degree ROI friendly.

In lieu of making lucrative profits, B-Schools have been set up by the dozens and the result is university surveys throwing up audacious figures like Nagpur University where 59% Management seats remained vacant in 60 colleges, the same case is with U.P & Punjab colleges where (60-70) % of total management seats remained vacant since 2013.With five or less numb of teachers to teach all management subjects and no industry borne visiting lecturers the case for substandard faculty resources in terms of quality as well as quantity is well established ,obsolete pedagogy and already redundant teaching mechanisms have been the other major architect to poor delivery of management education in run of the mill institutions. Making the scenario worse is the random selection of any candidate with affordability as the prime eligibility. A large section of the B-School students are pursuing education via loan assistance from banks and no employability or substandard jobs will sooner or later burst both the bubbles in India, Higher Education Institution bubble and related Higher Education Loan bubble with a growing number of loan defaulters.

Not all institutions that are still standing and are termed “old and established” can be termed good as they might be backed by deep-pocketed benefactors who with the power of advertising and aggressive sales pitch by  the admission teams  capture the imagination of aspirants who gives into these promiscuous pep talk which is termed “counseling” and without any self-evaluation and proper research take admission over phone calls giving telephonic interviews and depositing fee without even a physical visit to campus locations.

AICTE and the UGC are already on the move ringing in changes in policies to reduce the quality gap between the latent demand and the abundant supply of management graduates. As responsible institutions that are in with a long-term vision, a review of admission norms like adhering to strict eligibility criterion and investing in delivery process has to be a priority. Only then can we garner any hopes of reviving the lost glory of management education in the country whose boundary starts outside the walls of A++ and A+ category institutes and covers the whole of A, B+, and B category institutions. Needless to say, C category institutes and unaffiliated degree shops are already meeting their fate.

Amidst all of this not so inspiring facts and figures it is worth mentioning that not all emerging B-Schools must be viewed with suspicion as many of them have been set up by visionaries and top brass corporate honchos who themselves have been luminaries from world class B-Schools i.e. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, IFBS New Delhi, Woxsen School of Business Hyderabad, School of Inspired Leadership Gurgaon etc.

IFBS is the one of the top PGDM College in Delhi.

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